I suspect that more than one of us have wondered or asked: how on earth does the doctrine of the Trinity make any sense? Certainly, there have been times when I have; and I am aware that there are many people - Christians and non-Christians alike - who either have profound difficulty with the Trinity, or who reject it outright. The reasons for this are many and varied: some regard it is a relic of an outdated cosmology, or of a hierarchical view of society; others as representative of the infection of Christian theology by Greek philosophy; and still others as a by-product of Christian history, a "dogma" imposed upon Christianity by certain powerful cliques determined to reshape the Church in their own image. But beyond this, the struggle for many people is really quite simple: the Trinity just does not make sense. |
This feast is not the time to try to explain how three go into one! The Trinity is not something that we can understand and figure out with our reasoning, intellect or with our brain. We most certainly will not find the explanation to the Trinity by 'googling' it! The Trinity is a mystery that we are to experience with our hearts not with our heads. It is not a puzzle or a riddle that we are expected to answer or solve. When we use the word 'mystery' to talk about and describe the Trinity, we are talking about a reality that is so endlessly rich and profound that it will never be exhausted. The more we contemplate and pray about the reality and presence of the Trinity in our lives, the more of itself will be revealed to us. Through the Trinity, God creates and loves us, Jesus liberates and saves us and the Spirit encourages and strengthens us. The Trinity is a community of love and life that we are invited to be part of and share in.
When we look at the news on our television or read the newspaper any day, we are often presented with news of violence, segregation and building walls. There is the reality of individuals and indeed some countries speaking about and defending their rights at the expense of dialogue and cooperation with other nations. People of different religions in the same country are often not only disagreeing with one another; they are actively fighting one another. Sadly, there is division where they could be unity, there is aggression where there could be understanding, and there is suspicion where there could be trust and mutual respect.
The Trinity offers us a model of sharing, belonging and community. It also challenges our individualism and our demand that our rights be met all the time. The Trinity asks to be mindful of our responsibilities to those around us in our families, our neighbourhood and our parish community. Perhaps on the Feast of the Trinity we could say these prayers slowly and let their meaning become part of us in a more intimate and personal way.
Rev'd Fr. Colin Humes